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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:05 PM   #1
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Editing Programs for the PC

I am a newbie here but i am serious about making movies. i just aquired a panasonic ag-dvx-100 and a good pair of sticks... but what i am lacking now is the post production. i am very into independent film making and am looking for a 'do it myself' approach in the beginning. i have read a few threads on some programs and Vegas and adobe premier pro cs3 have come up (i have a pc) and im just wondering what is the best bang for my buck? like, cheapest and most effective or just best all around?
Michael Acquino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2008, 01:02 PM   #2
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I think it depends on what you want to do. Both NLEs have strong fans and detractors.

If you've never edited before, Vegas is a good way to go. It has lower system requirements and many people like its simplicity and stability.

Premiere has a more conventional workflow and interface, so if you're used to another (non-Vegas) package adapting to Premiere might be easier. It's admired for its integration with other apps in the Production Suite but is a bit of a resource hog and sometimes has stability issues if your PC isn't top-notch (and sometimes even if it is).

I use Premiere and had a really hard time trying to use Vegas because it "thinks" differently in its interface and how you handle clips. So if you start with one be prepared to stick with it.

Both have simple and Pro versions, and all are downloadable for trial, although both, I think, have some features disabled in the trial versions. Download both and check 'em out.

A note on your sticks -- if it's truly a pair you'll have trouble making it stand up. A tripod needs three legs (!).
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 02:22 AM   #3
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much thanks

thank you for a good overview. i think at this stage i'll go with vegas, my comp is pretty top notch, but if its a little easier to pick up, vegas it will be (not only that but the four hundred dollars ill be saving). im still looking for a bit more detailed description of each. i have researched both and saw a lot of specs but if i'm looking to just get material out there... and learn a bunch in the process, what could i adapt to more easily, and keep in the technological run for a few years?

oh, and i guess ill call them a trio of sticks from now on... or maybe just my trunk.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael Acquino View Post
i think at this stage i'll go with vegas, my comp is pretty top notch, but if its a little easier to pick up, vegas it will be (not only that but the four hundred dollars ill be saving). im still looking for a bit more detailed description of each. i have researched both and saw a lot of specs but if i'm looking to just get material out there... and learn a bunch in the process, what could i adapt to more easily, and keep in the technological run for a few years?
Being serious about something, except from spending time with it, also means spending money on it. Trying to make your way into the video production area, buying a top notch system but hesitating to go for a good editing application is like buying a Ferrari and trying to make it run with... water. Actually, you remind me of me when I first started, Michael, and I pretty much know that it's not always easy to have the bucks for everything, especially at the beginning. But the "best software all around" and "cheapest and most effective" are two totally different things.

Actually, the answer to your dilemma is strongly related to what it is exactly that you want to do. If you want to go deep into professional editing, go with nothing less than Avid Xpress Pro or Media Composer. You'll learn on its interface and find it easier in the long run to cope with a lot of other applications. Plus, you'll be able to work for a bunch of studios and get seriously in the business.

On the other hand, if you consider starting a sort of personal "business", it might be better to go for Premiere Pro, since you'll find very flexible the fact that it integrates with a number of different apps (After Effects, Photoshop, Encore DVD, Audition etc.) and it is also available for Mac.

Despite the fact that here in the forum some might attack me for advising you not to go for Vegas, I will still tell you not to do so. Vegas is actually the evolution of an audio software to a video one, practically much different than any other editing software in the market and for that reason not a good idea to start with it. After some years, when you'll have a pretty good idea of how pro editing is done, I believe you'll be able to evaluate whether Vegas suits your needs. It certainly doesn't suit mine and I'm in the business long enough to think so. There are a lot of things done faster and easier with other apps. But that's my opinion... OK, Adam's, too, I suppose :-)

Also take a look into Grass Valley's Edius Broadcast, from my point of view by far the most flexible and multi-functional editing application if we leave aside software integration, the absolute plus of Adobe's package.

In conclusion, if I were in your seat, I wouldn't go for mediocre solutions when my future profession is involved. Take some time, save some money, do your research and go for a good, professional application.

Hope this helps. Keep us informed on your progress. New people with a creative flame are always more than welcome.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 09:58 AM   #5
 
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Well, Themis' opinion is certainly one to consider. From my own viewpoint, Vegas has matured well past being just audio software. I started, like you, with Premiere. After a year of late deliveries, due to Premiere's balky, unpredictable behavior(freezes and crashes), I gave up on it and moved to Vegas. I've never looked back. Vegas interfaces well with Photoshop, and I have no problems with that.

Admittedly, if you intend on developing a software skill that will involve working for someone else, Avid or some other NLE would serve you better. However, if you're wanting an easy to learn, reliable and flexible NLE and compositing software in one, go with Vegas.

Caveat: Vegas is currently limited to 8-bit I/O. If you're working with a camera that outputs 10-bit, or capturing from HD-SDI, you may be well advised not to use Vegas in its present incarnation.

In the final decision, an NLE is kind of like picking stereo speakers. There's a lot of esoteric factors that come into play. The best policy is to play with trial versions of anything you're considering before you plunk down your hard earned $'s.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
From my own viewpoint, Vegas has matured well past being just audio software. I started, like you, with Premiere. After a year of late deliveries, due to Premiere's balky, unpredictable behavior(freezes and crashes), I gave up on it and moved to Vegas. I've never looked back. Vegas interfaces well with Photoshop, and I have no problems with that. (...) However, if you're wanting an easy to learn, reliable and flexible NLE and compositing software in one, go with Vegas.
Disagreeing on the "evolution" of Sony's Vegas is something I've pretty much covered in a previous post, in which, among others I also pointed out that a software with a so cheap price only reveals that it is in reality not intended to professionals. From my point of view it is in fact a "familiarity tool" for all those who work with XDCAM, the format that Sony introduced. The objectively limited number of professionals who actually use the software for real work and not the majority that, again objectively, only does plain work with it, are facts that prove it is not a fully-functional or even flexible tool. Bill very honestly pointed it out: No 10-bit support from an HD-SDI port. I'm wondering which high-end professional work doesn't use HD-SDI... All the above in good will...

Integration with Photoshop only - by the way I'm not sure whether Vegas works with layers, 'cause otherwise all editing apps accept merged photoshop files - is not really an excuse, since Premiere integrates with all other Adobe's software. Additionally, Premiere used to hang and crash on past tense. I've heard no problems with turnkey systems that work with CS3, and that's really why these systems exist for every professional NLE software, from Avid to Premiere and so on. I've never heard of a specially designed, turnkey system for Vegas, but I could also be wrong.

Anyway, Michael, the main purpose is to clear your way into a decision, not fill your head with data that are useless for the moment. Take my word for it: Vegas is NOT the software you want to START with, and you'll miss a lot along the way. Premiere's integration - apart from the fact that I don't fancy its interface or use it as much - is a big plus and it will help you create many more things. Also, it is very similar to other editing apps and closer to Final Cut, which you'll certainly come across to in the future for serious work. Of course, the final decision is yours but I wouldn't sacrifice price for quality. Don't forget to take a look into Grass Valley's Edius. You'll remember me for this advice, I assure you...

All the best

Last edited by Themis Gyparis; February 3rd, 2008 at 03:48 AM.
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